Microsoft have today announced their new vision for Microsoft Office 2010.
Being the premium choice as a productivity application, with 500 million people worldwide using Microsoft Office - including businesses to students - Microsoft are eager to provide the end user with "more choice and flexibility" in how they can try, buy and experience Office 2010 on new and existing PCs.
This manifests itself firstly with a Product Key Card to help consumers more easily access and experience Office 2010 on new PCs that have been pre-loaded with Office 2010. The Product Key Card is a single license card (with no DVD media) that will be sold at major electronic retail outlets. This saves users the hassle of having to install Office themselves by simply allowing them to 'unlock' a pre-installed version of it on their new PC. This, according to Microsoft, will:
"Enable a simpler and faster path for consumers to begin using any one of three full versions of Microsoft Office – Office Home & Student 2010, Office Home & Business 2010, or Office Professional 2010."
The bigger news of the day is the addition of Microsoft's 'Office Starter.' Office Starter 2010 is a reduced-functionality, advertising-supported version of Office 2010, available exclusively on new PCs; its goal is to provide new PC owners with immediate exposure to the Office 2010 experience on new PCs right out of the box. Office Starter 2010 will include Office Word Starter 2010 and Office Excel Starter 2010, with the basic functionality for creating, viewing and editing documents, essentially replacing Microsoft Works, with an opportunity to upgrade to a fully comprehensive version of the Office suite.
Finally, Microsoft are making it easier for individuals who simply wish to try out Microsoft Office. Consumers can now download a trial or buy Office 2010 directly from Office.com, as Click-to-Run gives customers an easy and simple way to try or buy Office digitally. Click-to-Run automatically downloads and installs any software patches when connected to the Internet, helping people maintain and keep their Office software up-to-date. It also uses virtualization technology, meaning that it allows customers to maintain multiple versions of Office. This enables them to try Office 2010 side-by-side with the existing version of Office.